Israel to demand US funding of its laser weapons during Biden’s visit
Story Code : 1001192
When Biden visits the Israeli-occupied Jerusalem (al-Quds) next month, he will not only be met with a new face as the regime’s prime minister but also with “a request for a special budget” to help the regime complete its development of laser weapons to intercept rockets and drones and work in parallel to its increasingly ineffective anti-air batteries such as the Iron Dome, US-based military news outlet Breaking Defense reported Friday.
Citing what is referred to as “the visit plan” shared by Israeli military sources, the report said Biden is due to “stop by” an Israeli air force base, where two Israeli weapons makers, Rafael and Elbit Systems, will display the prototypes of laser systems being developed for the interception of rockets and drones but need “more money to complete the development.”
The report further noted that the US annually provides the occupying regime with $3.3 billion in Foreign Military Financing (FMF), “including $500 million for cooperative programs for missile defense.”
The new funding request “is aimed at adding funds to that portion of the FMF pool,” the report pointed out, citing Israeli military sources as adding that the regime “will ask for around $300 million in extra funds.”
According to the report, the Israeli regime has long been seeking the additional US funding for its laser capabilities, which “are not tied directly into a recently-announced regional air defense network, although it is possible that if such a system is made operational, it would be exported down the line.”
Pointing to the recent political upheaval in Israel that has led to the downfall of the regime’s former prime minister Naftali Bennett, the report further underlined, “The common feeling among Israeli politicians and experts is that whoever greets Biden at Ben Gurion airport will not impact the national security priorities that will be discussed.”
“Our working assumption is still that the trip will go forward as planned,” the US Embassy in occupied al-Quds said in a statement as cited in the report.
“The relations between the US and Israel are solid,” added a senior Israeli military source as quoted by the news outlet. “The issues that will be on the table during the visit are of utmost importance to both the US and Israel. I’m confident that the talks will be fruitful for both sides.”
Saudi Nuclear Concerns
According to the report, another issue the Israeli regime officials are expected to raise with the US president during his visit will be “ongoing efforts by Saudi Arabia to achieve nuclear power.”
Noting that “the Saudis are promoting a project to build a nuclear reactor to produce energy” with Russian, Chinese and South Korean companies mentioned as top contenders to win the project, the report further emphasized that the exclusion of the US-based Westinghouse Corporation from the competition has raised concerns in Washington and Tel Aviv.
“When he visits Riyadh, Biden is expected by Israel to raise the issue, as Washington does not want companies from its two biggest rivals to win such a sensitive project with its [Persian] Gulf partner,” the report then emphasized.
It further underlined that the Israeli regime “shares the same concerns,” citing sources within the regime as adding that “the Saudis are unhappy with two US demands for working with the American company: a Saudi commitment not to enrich uranium in its territory and a signing of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.”
The report goes on to cite the former director of the Israeli regime’s Atomic Energy Commission, Uzi Eilam, as insisting that Washington would be happy if an American company is selected to build the Saudi nuclear plant.
“The American preference is clear and has a solid reason — with an American company involved the regulations dictated by the international atomic energy agency will be fulfilled in full,” Eilam said as quoted by the news outlet.
This is while the US-sponsored Israeli regime is widely reported to possess hundreds of nuclear warheads while refusing any international inspection of its nuclear facilities and declining to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).